Costa Rica Adventure: Pacuare, Arenal & the Osa Peninsula

Itinerary in Brief: Classic Highlights plus the Remote Osa Peninsula

  • Classic Pacuare river rafting
  • Active Arenal Volcano
  • The wild and remote Osa Peninsula
  • Great wildlife viewing
  • Premier small hotels and lodges
  • All transport and guiding included
  • Can be customized
  • See below for day by day details

Day by Day Itinerary

Day 1       Arrive to San Jose

Fly into San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica. You will be met at the airport for transfer to your hotel. (Depending on what time you arrive, we can arrange various activities in San Jose, including visits to the Jade Museum and the Gold Museum.)
Grano de Oro

Day 2        Pacuare River Rafting

Today you will be picked up at your hotel to travel to the renowned Pacuare River for a rafting excursion. In the company of some of the best river guides in Costa Rica, you’ll head through steep jungle canyons, stopping to see waterfalls along the way; you’ll see why many call this one of the world’s greatest rafting trips. In the afternoon you will arrive to the dock of your hotel, a riverfront lodge nestled into the tropical rainforest.
Pacuare Lodge (B,L,D)

Day 3        Free Day at Pacuare Lodge

You will have today free to appreciate the beauty of Pacuare. The lodge is an ideal place to relax and enjoy the scenery, and the area offers an abundance of activities, including bird watching, horseback riding, rainforest canopy tours, and treks to a local community.
Pacuare Lodge (B,L,D)

Day 4        Raft out / Transfer to Arenal

After breakfast you will reboard the rafts and set off down the river, passing through more stunning jungle scenery. The trip will finish around midday, when you’ll be picked up and start the drive out to the towering, active Arenal Volcano. You will be dropped off in the afternoon at your hotel, composed of individual private bungalows overlooking the volcano.
Arenal Nayara Hotel (B,L,D)

Day 5        Arenal Volcano Hike and Canyoning Tour

Today you’ll join your guide for a morning hike around the base of the volcano, where you can see how the lava has flowed and hardened over the centuries and, weather permitting, enjoy spectacular views up to the smoldering crater. In the afternoon you will have the opportunity to rappel down a series of 4 waterfalls and trek along breathtaking trails in a pristine canyon, filled with enchanting gorges and lush tropical rainforest.
Arenal Nayara Hotel (B,L,D)

Day 6      Zipline, Arenal Organic Farm, and Ecotermales Hot Springs

You will start the day with an exhilarating zipline tour, flying through the lush rainforest canopy. Afterward you will visit the Arenal Vida Campesina organic farm to learn about common Costa Rican crops such as coffee, bananas and plantains. You will enjoy lunch at the farm, prepared with freshly harvested vegetables. In the late afternoon you will head to Ecotermales Hot Springs, luxurious thermal pools heated by the active Arenal Volcano, where you can relax, unwind, and have dinner before returning to your hotel.
Arenal Nayara Hotel (B,L,D)

Day 7        Fly to the Osa Peninsula

This morning you will catch an early flight from San Jose down to one of the remotest and wildest areas in the country: the Osa Peninsula. When you land, a 4×4 will be waiting to drive you over unpaved roads and streams to the Sierpe River, where you will board a riverboat and travel south to your hotel’s private dock. Located on the Southwest Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, next to Corcovado National Park, the Osa Peninsula is one of the most biologically diverse places in the world, and still retains its sense of untamed jungle wilderness.
La Paloma Lodge (B,L,D)

Day 8      Caño Island Tour

Today you will take a scenic boat ride out to Caño Island Biological Reserve, during which you may spot flying fish and dolphins. You will spend the day exploring the island and snorkeling along its crystaline beaches, whose waters are full of colorful tropical fish. You can also hike with your guide to explore the island’s interior, including a visit to the remains of an ancient cemetery and to see the indigenous “milk trees,” with their drinkable white sap.
La Paloma Lodge (B,L,D)

Day 9      Corcovado National Park

Today you will visit Corcovado National Park, an area of renowned biodiversity and pristine jungle. The shores of the wilderness beaches remain essentially untouched, and the forest is dominated by ancient, massive trees. The park is the only region in the country to host all four of Costa Rica’s monkey species, and is also home to a large variety of birds and wildlife including the elusive jaguar, tapir, and white-lipped peccaries. With your guide, you will hike on trails that begin on the beaches and enter the forest, following riverbeds that lead to waterfalls and refreshing stream-fed swimming holes.
La Paloma Lodge (B,L,D)

Day 10       Return to San Jose / Depart

In the morning you will be picked up from your hotel and transferred to the airport for a quick flight back to San Jose. Depending on your international flight time, you may be able to visit some of the city’s museums or go out to eat prior to your international flight.
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